October 2015

Langton’s Ant with jQuery – Version 1.0

Langton's AntI have finished my first version of Langton’s Ant using jQuery. You can learn about Langton’s Ant here. I was inspired to write this program by one of my favorite YouTube channels, Numberphile. I am quite fascinated by many aspects of mathematics, and I thought this would be a great way to explore the phenomenon myself.

In short, Langton’s Ant is a cellular automaton that follows some very simple rules. If the ant lands on a blank square, it fills in the square and turns 90 degrees counter-clockwise, and if the ant lands on a filled in square, it makes it blank and turns 90 degrees clockwise. The idea that intrigues me the most about Langton’s Ant is that even though the movement is based on just a few simple rules, the outcome can never be predicted unless one works back from a certain arrangement of squares after a certain amount of time. There is no (known) formula for generating the end result of filled squares!

Please check out my version of Langton’s Ant here.

Features to Add in Version 2.0

Here are a few features I plan on adding in the next version:

  • User Controls (start, stop, single move)
  • User Input (starting direction, number of moves, grid size)
  • Manual Grid Setup (clickable squares to turn ‘on’ or ‘off’)